Frequently Asked Questions
from Bob Dillon Windsor Chairs

The following is a list of the questions I am asked most often. Some of the things you are wondering about may be in this list. I realize, however, that some problems will vary with time, geography and circumstances and can only be answered by me directly. As always, I welcome your emails and phone calls.

Click on a question to scroll down to the answer.

  1. What is a Windsor chair?
  2. Where can I find out more about Windsor chairs?
  3. What woods do you use to make your chairs?
  4. Are your Windsors strong enough for daily use?
  5. Does BDWC offer discounts on quantity orders?
  6. How do I place an order?
  7. How long will it take to get my order?
  8. How much is the shipping to...?
  9. How do you pack your chairs for shipping?
  1. What is a Windsor chair?
    A Windsor can best be defined as a solid, sculpted seat to which all other parts of the chair are attached. This means the back and the under-carriage are separate systems, unlike joined chairs and ladder-back chairs in which the back legs are continuous with the "stiles" -- the two uprights which form the back. Separating these systems allows the back to recline for comfort and the legs to splay for stability without compromising the the structure of the chair. (back to top)
  2. Where can I find out more about Windsor chairs?
    Please see my About Windsors page for brief information about the history and construction of Windsor chairs. If you are really serious, there are some excellent books on the subject, and you can find them at Bob's Bookstore. (back to top)
  3. What woods do you use to make your chairs?
    I make my chairs from three woods: oak, birch and pine. Oak is a strong, flexible wood and is excellent for steam-bending -- I use it for spindles as well as bent bows and arms. While I generally use red oak for these parts, I sometimes mix in some white oak. Birch is a hard, close-grained wood which I use for all the turned parts: legs, stretchers, arm-posts, short spindles. Woods like birch, maple and beech excel at accepting the fine details I want in my turned parts. I use birch because it is abundant in my area. In fact, I cut it off my own property. I use white pine for my seats. White pine is soft enough to be hand-shaped, but at about 1.75" thick is strong enough to hold all the parts that will be joined to it. Other wood which can be used for seats are yellow poplar (tulip), aspen and basswood. (back to top)
  4. Are your Windsors strong enough for daily use?
    Definitely! I work hard to make all joints strong and long-lasting. Wedges are driven into the ends of the spindles where they pierce the bow, and into the legs where they come through the top of the seat. A wedge is also driven at the arm/arm-post joint, and then a pin is driven through for further strength. The tenons on the ends of the stretchers are turned slighly over-sized, then compressed for a snug fit; when assembled, water in the glue causes the compressed wood to swell, further tightening the joint. Furthermore, all the oak in the backs has been riven (split) from logs so that it is perfectly straight-grained thus maintaining its maximum natural strength. The legs and other turned parts are similarly riven from birch logs. (back to top)
  5. Does BDWC offer discounts on quantity orders?
    Sorry, no. I make all chairs and other furniture by hand, so the only difference in making (for instance) six chairs for one order as opposed to six chairs for six orders, is a small savings in paper work and emails (and/or phone calls).
  6. How do I place an order?
    • What I need to know:
      • I need to know what style(s) of chair you want, how many, and what options (if applicable) you desire. Finish does not have to decided before you order -- there will be time enough to figure that out.
    • What you will probably want to know:
      • Contact me for the shipping method and an estimate of the shipping charges. I need only your proposed order and your zip code.
      • I will also be able to tell you when I can make your chairs.
      • I can be reached by email at or by telephone at 1-888-875-9868 (local at 682-2075). You may also write to me at:
        Bob Dillon Windsor Chairs
        4724 Barnum Road NW
        Hackensack, MN 56452
    • Placing your order:
      • A 30% deposit secures your spot on my work schedule. I accept credit cards online, through Paypal (you do NOT need a Paypal account), and I accept personal checks as well.
      • The balance is due before I ship (or when you pick up your order), or I can ship COD. (PRIVACY POLICY)
        (back to top)
  7. How long will it take to get my order?
    This is entirely dependent on how many orders I have on hand at a given moment. It may take a few weeks or a few months or more. The only way to find out is to ask me. I always try to stress to those contemplating an order: The sooner you order, the sooner you will get your chairs. Even if you haven't decided on all the details of what you want, put in the order and secure a spot on my work schedule. There will be time enough afterward to figure out the color, or the arm style, or whatever else you haven't settled on. (back to top)
  8. How much is the shipping to...?
    Give me your zip code, plus the style and number of chairs you want, and I will get you an estimate from the appropriate shipper. I cannot get you an exact figure until the furniture is made, packaged and weighed, but I always make my weight estimates a little on the high side so that any surprises hopefully will be in the customer's favor. Some general things to think about: All my chairs, can be shipped via SpeeDee Delivery. However, SpeeDee only operates in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, plus a few cities on the borders of those states. Children's chairs, stools, barstools, rod-backs and my kitchen bow-back can be shipped via UPS. All others are too big and must be shipped motor freight (or SpeeDee, within their operating area). Settees can only be shipped motor freight. Note: motor freight shipments delivered to a residence will cost an additional $41, so you will save money if you can receive the order at a business address, or if you can pick it up at the terminal. You can also check this chart to get an idea of how much shipping will be to your area. (back to top)
  9. How do you pack your chairs for shipping?
    All my chairs are wrapped in bubble wrap and sealed in a corrugated carton. Packaging charges are included in the chair price. Settees must be crated. Please see my Prices Page for current crating charges. (back to top)


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